DeKalb County

Father says he tried getting son away from mother accused of killing him in 1999

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A mother accused of killing her child and leaving his body in the woods more than two decades ago is facing a judge and jury.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in the DeKalb County courtroom on Friday when the boy’s father and aunt told the jury that she could have given the boy to them.

Wanda Houston testified that she spoke with Teresa Black, her nephew’s mother, several times over the last 23 years and every time she would ask about her nephew, William Hamilton, Black would have a different excuse about where he was and why no one had talked to him.

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When Houston noticed she’d been blocked on Facebook, she knew something was wrong.

“He had a very beautiful smile that would just melt your heart, he was a sweet guy,” Houston said.

Hamilton was six years old when his body was found in the woods in DeKalb County in 1999 with a toxic level of medicine in his system.

Investigators had a hard time figuring out exactly what happened to him because his body was so badly decomposed when someone stumbled upon his remains six months after his body was left in the woods.

He went unidentified for 23 years.


“Where did she tell you he was?” attorneys asked Houston on the stand.

“She told me he was in Atlanta with his godfather,” she replied.

After a friend recognized an image put out by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the mother admitted to detectives that she was homeless and her son was malnourished. When she gave him some medicine that night, he never woke up and she never called 911 because she was scared and had no one to turn to.

The boy’s father says that isn’t the case.

“I used to try and come and get him all the time, but I could never see him. One time, I went to see him and she pulled out a gun on me,” he testified.

Black is expected to testify in her own defense next week.

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